Rickmers-Linie in brief

Hamburg-based Rickmers-Linie is a leading specialist in the global sea transportation of project and heavy lift cargo. With more than 175 years to its name, the company provides a world-wide network of liner services for the transportation of e.g. transformers, generators, railway locomotives, pressure vessels and yachts. Rickmers currently operates fourteen specialist vessels and spot charters further vessels as per demand.
World on a string
In April 2003, Rickmers inaugurated its innovative Round-the-World Pearl String Service with its unique concept offering fortnightly sailings, fast transit times and reliable schedules. With the Pearl String Service, Rickmers has revolutionised the shipment of heavy-lift and project cargoes, enabling customers to plan their cargo flows more easily.
The base ports served every 14 days by the service are Hamburg, Antwerp, Genoa, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dalian, Xingang, Qingdao, Masan, Kobe, Yokohama, New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia, and back to Hamburg, but many other ports such as Ho Chi Minh City and Kaohsiung are called at quite regularly as well. In addition, Rickmers offers a link between Europe and Australia, the Pearl String ships connecting in Singapore, where vessels of renowned partners take over.
The Pearl String Service is served by nine new identical 30,000dwt purpose-built Superflex Heavy Multi-Purpose Container (MPC) ships, which were designed primarily with project cargo in mind and constructed in China between 2002 and 2004. The vessels are equipped with four large cranes, the two heaviest of which can be twinned for a lifting capacity of up to 640 tonnes. The main hatches are 32m in length to allow long loads to be accommodated below deck. Meanwhile, adjustable tweendecks allow for variations in cargo height. Furthermore, a dehumidifying system controls the air in all holds, ensuring protection from condensation for all types of cargo.

Middle East and Indian subcontinent
Following the success of the Pearl String Service, Rickmers is applying the same winning formula to its Middle East/Indian subcontinent service. The company currently handles the transportation of project cargo and heavylifts from European ports to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent with a regular liner service, operated with chartered tonnage. In addition, vessels of the Round-The-World Service call at Dubai on a regular basis and can add further ports in the area in case of demand for higher lifting capacities.

Transpacific westbound service
Broadening the range of services Rickmers provides to its customers, the line operates a westbound service from the US East Coast and Gulf to Northern China, South Korea and Japan. The four 11,000 dwt vessels involved in this cooperation, Fortune Epoch, Reina Rosa, Del Sol and Ocean Lohas, come with heavylift gear capable of lifting loads of up to 120 tonnes. They were built between 1995 and 1998 and three of the vessels are equipped with RoRo ramps. Regular loading ports within Rickmers’ westbound service are e.g. Philadelphia, Charleston and Houston, with discharge ports Busan, Xingang, Qingdao, Shanghai and Yokohama.

NCS Service: Asia to North Coast of South America and the Caribbean
In June 2010, Rickmers-Linie introduced a new specialised service for heavy lifts and project cargo from Japan, Northern China and Korea to the North Coast of South America. This service utilises the same vessels as the Transpacific westbound service, and is thus also operated on a monthly basis. Ports of call can include Moji, Kobe, Nagoya, Yokohama, Guayaquil, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Puerto Bolivar, Guanta, Port-au-Prince, Savannah, Charleston and Philadelphia.

Terminal co-ownership
In 2008, Rickmers started to invest in terminal facilities specialised in the handling of breakbulk, heavylift and project cargo.
In Antwerp, a joint-venture was formed with DP World and Conti-Lines, called DP World Breakbulk NV. Rickmers has a share of 20% in this joint-venture. In Hamburg, Rickmers purchased a 25,1% stake in Wallmann & Co.
These investments are part of a strategy to safeguard know-how and access to handling facilities for breakbulk and project cargo and enables Rickmers-Linie to offer value added services such as packing, storage and other related services at the terminal.